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Contributed by Kristen Carsello, Source: Freiheit & Ho Architects

Equity Residential announces the LEED Gold Certification of Urbana Apartments, a new development in Seattle, WA.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for their project. (source: http://www.usgbc.org/leed)

Urbana is a mixed-use urban development in the heart of Ballard, one of Seattle’s most popular and walkable neighborhoods. Eight stories, with a total of 287 apartments, are situated over 31,225 square feet of ground-level retail and a 393-stall underground parking garage. With a shared commitment to an outstanding product, the development and design team worked collectively to set a new standard for resident amenities for its market sector. Integrated retail enlivens the streetscape and provides on-site convenience for residents.

The project demonstrates a commitment to quality through sustainable design. Rigid exterior thermal insulation contributes to energy efficiency strategies while ensuring thermal and acoustic comfort for residents. Solar panels incorporated into the roof design are a top highlight on a list of sustainable design features.

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The apartment homes feature environmentally friendly finishes that contributed to the Gold Certification, including energy-efficient appliances, programmable thermostats, low-VOC paint, recyclable carpet, low-flow showerheads and dual-flush toilets.

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A two-story common area includes seating groups, a chef’s kitchen, game room, and private theater with a wet bar. Opening up completely onto the 10,500-square-foot above-street terrace, residents can enjoy outdoor seating, a fireplace, BBQ grills and lush landscaping. A rooftop gym and adjacent a light therapy room – complete with expansive windows and light therapy lamps – promotes a holistic take on resident health. A 9,000-square-foot green roof includes a community garden and sweeping city views. “Pawsh” features a pet wash where residents can groom their furry friends. The project sets a new standard for amenities for its market sector. Generous amenity spaces support developer/owner Equity Residential’s core passion to provide great lifestyles in places people most want to live, work and play.

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Situated at the intersection of two main arterials in Seattle’s vibrant Ballard neighborhood, adjacent bus stops offer multiple bus lines. The parking garage houses three Zipcar spaces as well as bike storage. A bike maintenance area for residents encourages active forms of alternative transportation, promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Some of the city’s best restaurants, shopping and entertainment are within walking distance from Urbana, contributing to a near-perfect walk score of 95.